In 1956, the owners of Cedar Hill Roller Rink stuck a sky-blue sign on the edge of Main Street. With only the word "Skating" displayed in retro block lettering, the sign called out to travelers, urging them to stop inside for classic four-wheeled entertainment. Today, the rink's hardwood surface provides smooth gliding after five decades upkeep, upbeat music, and upstanding gentlemen who know how to ask a gal to dance despite having untimely sweaty palms.
For more than three decades, the Hudson family has fostered a fun, safe environment for exercise at Red Bird Skateland. The glossy roller rink welcomes the public during open skate hours, and hosts birthday parties as well. Bashes can be held during public skate hours, or birthday kids can opt for private celebrations, which lets partygoers skate unimpeded by strangers after feasting on cake.
Happy shouts and gliding blades echo in the cool air during public sessions, parties, competitions, and lessons with ICE at The Parks. On the regulation-size NHL rink, guests can glide between skaters and ambitious Zambonis practicing slap shots. The rink opens out onto The Parks at Arlington, allowing pleasantly tired guests to rejuvenate among shops, restaurants, and a classic carousel. ICE at The Parks also maintains an onsite shop for sharpening skates and equipping visitors with necessities such as figure-skating dresses and puck repellent.
A playlist of popular tunes absorbs the subtle clicks and wooshes of wheels on wood as skaters glide around the golden floor at Arlington Skatium. Open-skate sessions allow rollers of any age to rack up laps, while preschool/stroller skate sessions grant two-foot fledglings and baby buggies exclusive access to the floorboards. The center also hosts skating classes to help students shave seconds off of their morning commute. Between sets, blue neon lights show the way to the snack bar, where skaters can refuel with a pizza or soda before settling down for a nap in the arcade room.
Forum Roller World’s vast polished hardwood floor stretches below a similarly vast ceiling outfitted with festive lights. And between the two? A scrum of roller skaters gliding, weaving, and figure-eighting to the tune of music such as hip-hop and gospel. This large facility welcomes skaters of all levels to slip into a pair of skates and cruise the floors. On Sunday nights until 1 a.m., adults rule the roost, where they can skate at their own speed without having to dodge children or re-oil their training wheels.
Spend a day away from the Sun's self-important, shimmering hotness and hit the rink at RollerWorld NE ($6 value for admission). Skaters can rent four-wheeled shoes of both the in-line and the traditional quad varieties ($3 per rental), and then take to the smooth surface of the skate space to show off classic roller-skating moves such as the grapevine, the crazy legs, and the Calvin Coolidge Shuffle. In the event that the couples skate turns alarmingly committal, or you just need to simply refuel, trade in your wheels for land shoes and claim your bounty of two hot dogs ($2 each) and two sodas ($2 each) from RollerWorld NE's snack bar.